Changeover to Linux Mint Debian

I wrote a little while ago about thinking of switching to Mint Debian, then changing my mind. That was before I discovered that my current version (15) would no longer download programs from its repositories, and I was effectively stuck with a system going nowhere. So I bit the bullet and made the big changeover on the weekend. I was hoping to keep the old system and set up a dual-boot arrangement, but that didn’t happen, so it was lucky that the changeover worked pretty smoothly. In fact I only overlooked one item: the Address Book for Mozilla Thunderbird, which I was able to replace nearly completely from my wife’s computer. But here are some random observations from the process: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Uncategorized


Tomahawk, or why Clementine got the axe

Each new music playing program that I try brings me a little closer to perfection. From Banshee I moved to Clementine, because Clementine can link to my online Spotify account and play my Spotify playlists. But it was a problem for Clementine when a playlist contained both online tracks and tracks from my own PC — when it got to a local track in the playlist it would just stop and refuse to play further. So Clementine is no longer my darling, now I’ve tried Tomahawk. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Audio, Audio, Music players


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Linux Mint XFCE saves ageing laptop

Acer Aspire 5315 ZNWXMi Laptop Specs and ReviewOur first venture into laptop purchasing took place about six years ago when we bought an Acer Aspire 5315,  closely followed by an Acer Aspire 5920 — or perhaps the other way around. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 10, 2014 in Hardware, VirtualBox


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Review: Linux Mint Essentials by Jay LaCroix

Linux Mint Essentials by Jay LaCroix.
Packt Publishing 2014

Linux Mint Essentials

Review by Jon Jermey Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 6, 2014 in eBooks, Mint OS


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The Buddy System

I have — I blush to admit it — peculiar ears. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Audio


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Some thoughts on upgrades and Mint Debian

At some point in the future historians will be able to look back and pinpoint the exact date when updating your PC went from being a good idea to a bad one. And note that I’m talking here about updating the software on an existing, working computer, not buying a shiny new one off the shelf. Personally I would put the watershed mark around 2008. That was about the time that I tried to update a copy of Windows Vista on a new laptop, only to have all the data implode, and discovered that the laptop didn’t come with any kind of recovery disc. It was a good thing in a way, because it made me commit to Linux for the first time, in the form of Mandriva. But it should have taught me a lesson about updating. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Mint OS, Operating systems, Other distros


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Having a Bash at Python

I’ve written elsewhere about Python, the first and only programming language deliberately written to be user-friendly, and I thought I should make public a couple of programs I’ve written recently for some fairly specialised tasks. One is pure Bash, the other is a combination of Bash and Python, which provides the best of both worlds — Bash to do the heavy lifting, and Python as a user-friendly matrix with which to handle the housekeeping. I’ll discuss each one in turn below. Naturally, to use the Bash commands in the scripts you will have to have those commands installed in Linux Mint. There are also some non-standard Python libraries used in the programs — see here for details of how to install those using Pip. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Python